Residents staggered after Milton Keynes Council admits MORE errors over huge Blakelands warehouse

    Residents living in the shadow of a huge warehouse were staggered to find that the council has made another error even as an inquiry is being held into other planning mistakes.

    In an email sent to the Blakelands Residents Association (BRA), Milton Keynes Council admits it named a wrong policy when it refused plans to use some loading bays 24 hours a day.

    The developer of the 18 metre tall warehouse, in Yeomans Drive appealed on May 12 to Government inspectors to overturn the council’s decision to restrict hours of operation.

    Now residents fear that the error will undermine the council’s case and mean they are subjected to noise 24 hours a day.

    “We’re concerned that we are dealing with yet another mistake with the Blakelands warehouse,” said a spokesman for the BRA.

    “It doesn’t inspire much confidence in the council’s ability to fight the appeal and get it right when there is so much at stake here.”

    In an email sent to residents on Tuesday (June 16), Tracey Aldworth, the deputy chief executive of MK Council “apologised sincerely” on behalf of the council for the latest error.

    It got through a checking process that involved two planning team leaders on January 21, and was signed off by Jon Palmer, the head of planning, the next day.

    An earlier error in the planning process meant that 12 conditions were left off the decision. They were rectified after the developers agreed to resubmit the application for the conditions to be added.

    An inquiry into the errors and how the warehouse was allowed to double in height is now due to be published at the end of June (this month), some six months after it had been expected.

    Tracey Aldworth added: “I can fully appreciate the frustration and concern that you and other residents feel about the situation and I have asked that we consider again what we need to do to minimise the likelihood of similar mistakes being made again.”

    But she added that naming the wrong policy should not undermine the case because “the main reason for for refusal is clear and precise in terms of the main matter.

    “The council can easily explain the omissions and error in its statement of case.”

    And she added that the council is “going to rigorously defend this appeal and present the strongest case it can.”

    Meanwhile the developer, GUPI 6, has submitted its statement of case for a four day inquiry.

    They are convinced that two reports into noise mean that there would be “no observed adverse effect from noise (or vibration) from the operation of the site during the additional proposed hours.”

    Their submission says it is their case that there is “no conflict with the development plan so that, in the absence of any material considerations indicating otherwise, this appeal should succeed.”

    A council spokesman added: “The council will defend the appeal and present the strongest case possible. We’re in contact with residents and will work with them to achieve the best outcome.”

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